“Advice On Creative Thinking How To Use It To Solve Negotiation Problems” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Self-Limiting is the only limitation to creative thinking.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“Advice On Creative Thinking – How To

Use It To Solve Negotiation Problems”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Impasses are inevitable in negotiations. But there are ways to overcome them by enhancing your creativity through creative thinking. And in so doing, you can solve negotiation problems easier.

What follows is advice on using creative thinking to solve negotiation problems. Since you are always negotiating, having the following insights will enhance every aspect of your life because solving negotiation problems is solving life’s problems.

Our Younger Days

As kids, our imaginations were boundless. And that sparked creativity. We used creative thinking to solve our problems – some that were not realistic. And we did not care if our creativity appeared senseless. Our innovative thought process allowed us to solve problems because we did not put constraints on creative thinking and our problem-solving abilities.

But as we grew older, we began to conform to society’s norms. That stifled our creativity. Society told us that allowing those who created chaos by having non-conforming thoughts might blow the world to smithereens.

That may be a bit hyperbolic. But, when we allow our imaginations to become boundless, we encourage random thoughts to link to the unlikeliness of possibility. And that leads to more extraordinary ideas that can unlock impasses in your negotiations. It will brighten your otherwise dampened imagination with creativity.

Questioning Yourself

Before delving too deeply into solving a negotiation problem, it is beneficial to understand the source of the challenge. Because the better you comprehend its source, the better positioned you will be at understanding what you need to address. And one way to do that is by questioning yourself about your beliefs about the problem. Questions such as:

1. What is the problem I should be addressing?

2. Is there an underlining source that is feeding the problem?

3. Who might I employ to assist me in resolving the issues at hand?

4. Is this problem a red herring posed by the opposing negotiator with the intent to shield their hidden goal?

5. Will this problem lead to the outcome I seek, or will it reveal more problems?

Those are but a few questions to ask yourself to become more creative at solving impasses. Accordingly, answering them and those you create will draw you closer to solving your negotiation problem using creative thinking.

Consider Impossible Scenarios

Sometimes, negotiators lock their minds away from creativity by thinking something is impossible. Do not do that! Instead, ponder the absurd as being possible. You do not want to place your thoughts off-limits due to your preconceived biases.

Embrace Negative Thinking

You may believe that embracing negative thoughts impedes one’s creativity. But that is not true! We give our ideas a value – good or bad. And in so doing, we assign negativity to those we deem bad. But there may be kernels of inspiration within those thoughts. They may lead to the breakout that uncovers the breakthrough you seek. And that is why it would behoove you to embrace them.

Consider Thoughts As Illusions

Having suggested you consider embracing negative thinking, contemplate the value in viewing thoughts as illusions. Illusions can deceive your perspective of reality by suspending your senses of what is real and what is not. That means that up can become down, right can become left, and the front may appear back.

By considering thoughts as possible illusions, you will be exploring the realm of possibility without shackling your mind to the constraints of reality in its quest to solve a negotiation problem. And that will allow you to genuinely examine impossible scenarios with fewer mental restrictions.

Free-flow Thinking

If I said one, three, five, seven, what number would you expect next? If you said nine, that most likely meant you had observed the pattern of numbers sequenced by two. But if I did not say nine and instead said another number, you might assume that a new sequence was beginning.  

The point is when you attempt to use creative thinking to solve negotiation problems, suspend your logical thought processes. Allow yourself to engage in free-flow thinking. Try the following either with pen and paper or in your mind’s imagination. Ready?

Draw an image of what you are thinking about a negotiation problem you are currently experiencing or one you have encountered in the past. The drawing does not have to be a masterpiece.

The picture’s purpose is to shift the perspective of the problem from an internal to an external viewpoint – it is the transformation process you engage when you look at something from a different point of view. Thus, you are looking at it as someone else might view the problem. Doing that delivers you to the beginning stages of creativity.

That is but one way to allow yourself to enhance your ability to evoke creative thinking to serve you in solving negotiation problems. Consider doing anything out of the ordinary to increase that process.


Well, there it is – advice on creative thinking. There is a song whose lyrics consist of, “Come with me, and you’ll be In a world of pure imagination – Take a look, and you’ll see into your imagination – We’ll begin with a spin – Traveling in the world of my creation – What we’ll see will defy explanation.“

And so it is when it comes to employing creative thinking to solve negotiation problems. You have the tools to do so. It is your mind and your imagination. You now have the methods to engage, and that is through the insights that I have presented.

So, it is up to you to determine how creative you will become. Once you do, you will be able to solve more negotiation problems. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

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